Comrades Against Imperialism: Nehru, India and Interwar Internationalism
Cambridge University Press, Global and International History Series, (March 2018).
Information about the book: www.cambridge.org/9781108419307
The Congress against Colonial Oppression and Imperialism and for National Independence, Brussels (1927). Source: Das Flammenzeichen vom Palais Egmont: offizielles Protokoll des Kongresses gegen koloniale Unterdrückung und Imperialismus, Brüssel, 10-15 Februar 1927. Berlin: Neuer Deutscher Verlag, 1927.
In this book Michele L. Louro compiles the debates, introduces the personalities, and reveals the ideas that seeded Jawaharlal Nehru’s political vision for India and the wider world. Set between the world wars, this book argues that Nehru’s politics reached beyond India in order to fulfill a greater vision of internationalism that was rooted in his experiences with anti-imperialist and anti-fascist mobilizations in the 1920s and 1930s. Using archival sources from India, the United States, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Germany, and Russia, the author offers a compelling study of Nehru’s internationalism as well as contributes a necessary interwar history of institutions and networks that were confronting imperialist, capitalist, and fascist hegemony in the twentieth-century world. Louro provides readers with a global intellectual history of anti-imperialism and Nehru’s appropriation of it, while also establishing a history of a typically overlooked period.
The League against Imperialism: Lives and Afterlives,
Leiden University Press and Chicago University Press, (2020).
The General Council of the League against Imperialism, 1927. Source: Das Flammenzeichen vom Palais Egmont: offizielles Protokoll des Kongresses gegen koloniale Unterdrückung und Imperialismus, Brüssel, 10-15 Februar 1927. Berlin: Neuer Deutscher Verlag, 1927.
The League against Imperialism: Lives and Afterlives brings together in one volume the multiple and overlapping stories of activists, networks and ideas that seeded a global movement to challenge imperialist and capitalist hegemony in the early twentieth-century world. The volume takes as a starting point and case study the League against Imperialism, one of the most significant but little-studied movements of the interwar years. The LAI brought together, at congresses and through the circulation of propaganda, an impressively diverse constellation of activists who collectively envisioned solidarities across political and geographical borders for the common struggle against capitalist greed and imperialist power. The volume brings together specialists of Latin American, African, Asian, Caribbean, European and North American history to tell the LAI’s story of transnational and global connections that sought to overturn imperialism in one of the most turbulent periods of twentieth-century history.
Works in Progress:
Wife to Comrade: Agnes Smedley and the Intimacies of Transnational Anticolonialism
This book offers a life history of Agnes Smedley (1892-1950) as an anticolonial revolutionary in a transnational world. Smedley was an American writer, journalist, activist, and spy who traveled North America, Europe, and Asia in pursuit of her anti-imperialist and communist agendas. She came to sympathize with anticolonialism through her personal and professional relationships with Indian revolutionaries in the United States and Europe in the early twentieth century, among them Lajpat Rai, M.N. Roy, and Virendranath Chattopadhyaya. In 1928, Smedley relocated to Shanghai as both a correspondent for a German newspaper and covert agent for the Communist International (Comintern), where she chronicled the events of the Chinese civil war and the Asian theatre of the Second World War. By the onset of the Cold War, Smedley became the target of American surveillance for her ties to communists during the interwar period, although she was never formally charged. While she is best known for her many publications that were global circulated and translated into multiple languages, her most radical and revolutionary acts were intimate and private ones that included an interracial marriage to an Indian revolutionary in Berlin and later her intimate relationships with Chinese communists and Soviet spies. I argue that her everyday practices and intimacies were as important to transnational solidarity as the manifestos and publications produced by those who dominated communist and anti-imperialist movements.
The Red Scare in India: The Meerut Trial and its Aftermath, 1929-1934
The Red Scare Comes to India is a history of the Meerut Conspiracy Case (1929-1934), a trial launched in 1929 by the British Empire against international communism and its spread to colonial India. On trial were 32 defendants in India and 63 abroad, all charged with conspiring with Moscow to overthrow the British rule in India. The book examines Meerut’s international impact, from transnational protests against the trial by activists from New York to Shanghai, to its importance in shaping global anti-communist alliances led by Britain and other imperial powers long before the Cold War. It also charts Meerut’s significance to shaping colonialism, anticolonialism, and leftist politics in interwar India.
“Wife to Comrade: Agnes Smedley and the Intimacies of Anticolonial Solidarity,” in The Anticolonial Transnational, Cambridge University Press, Global and International History Series (forthcoming 2022).
“The Anti-Imperialist Echo in India: Nehru, the Indian National Congress, and the LAI,” in The League against Imperialism: Lives and Afterlives, Leiden University Press, 2020.
“Anti-Imperialism and Anti-Fascism Between the World Wars: The Perspective from India,” in Anti-Fascism from a Global Perspective, Routledge, forthcoming June 2020.
“The Johnstone Affair and Anti-communism in Interwar India,” prepared for a special edition on anti-communism for Journal of Contemporary History, 53, no. 1 (2018), 38-60. 2018. http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/0022009416688257
Co-authored with Carolien M. Stolte, “Introduction: Meerut Conspiracy Case in Comparative and International Perspective,” Special Issue of Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, 33, no. 3 (2013), 310-315. https://cssaamejournal.org/article/the-meerut-conspiracy-case-in-comparative-and-international-perspective/
“‘Where National Revolutionary Ends and Communist Begins’: The League against Imperialism and the Meerut Conspiracy Case,” Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, 33, no. 3 (2013), 331-344. https://cssaamejournal.org/article/where-national-revolutionary-ends-and-communist-begins-the-league-against-imperialism-and-the-meerut-conspiracy-case/
“A Special Blend of Nationalism and Internationalism: India and the League against Imperialism,” in Ali Raza, Franziska Roy and Benjamin Zachariah (ed.), The Internationalist Moment: South Asia, Worlds, and World Views, 1919-1939 (Sage, 2014). https://us.sagepub.com/en-us/nam/the-internationalist-moment/book244248
“Rethinking Nehru’s Internationalism: The League against Imperialism and Anti-imperial Networks, 1927-1936,” Third Frame: Literature, Culture and Society, 2, no.3, September 2009, p.79-94.